I had a pre-op appointment at hospital today. This meant a day off the dayjob and a lot of sitting around waiting for tests, doctors and questions to answer. This could have been a tedious way to spend a day and the staff were quick to apologies for the gaps between one set of tests and another. But funnily enough I enjoyed it all.
First of all I was lucky enough to have picked the right book to read (Confession of a Buddhist Atheist by Stephen Batchelor) as well as my notebook for thoughtful scribblings. Then there was the strangely positive effect of being asked a ton of questions about by health which reminded me how, generally, I'm in good shape. This has extra resonance for me at a time when members of my family have some quite serious problems to deal with.
Then there was the opportunity for some solitude (of sorts) in a protective and caring environment. The hospital I was at doesn't have an A&E department so there was no whooshing about of bleeding drunks on gurneys.
Finally there were the staff. Each from a different country, each with their own take on hospital life.
As well as this I had access to the 'League of Friends' cafe with its tasty cakes and proper mugs of coffee. All this supplied by a team of cheery, older ladies. After eating too many cakes and drinking too much coffee I was able to tick off all the swabs and samples and talks I needed form my list. The next step is the operation.